Tag Archive | "bowling"

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Hutchens captures county bowling championship

Posted on 22 August 2019 by LeslieM

Michael Hutchens won the men’s open championship at the Broward County Top 8 Bowling Tournament at the Strikers Family SportsCenter in Sunrise recently. Photo by Gary Curreri.

By Gary Curreri

Michael Hutchens defeated Matt Lazarus, 224-223, to win the men’s open championship in the Broward County United States Bowling Congress Association’s Top Eight Tournament at the Strikers Family SportsCenter in Sunrise recently.

The 36-year-old Pompano Beach man was sitting in third place during qualifying until he rolled a 274 to seize the top seed. 

“I loved it,” Hutchens said. “It was awesome! I love the sport because it is competitive and you can beat anybody,” Hutchens said. “It doesn’t matter what generation you are from, what you like or what your personal interests are. Anything about this game, it doesn’t matter. We are all here for one thing and that is to bowl, and that is what I love.

“You can be a rocker, you can be country or you can be rap,” he continued. “You can be anything you want.”

It was his debut in the Top-8 tournament. He moved to Florida from Indiana in 2013. He bowls at Diamond Strike Lanes in Pompano on Wednesdays, Strikes@Boca on Thursdays and Sawgrass Bowl in Tamarac on Fridays.

The top eight bowlers from around Broward County competed in the one-day event in six divisions –Boys and Girls, Men’s and Women’s Open, and Senior Men and Women. 

“I just wanted to show that I belonged, that’s it,” said Hutchens, who said he has bowled more than a dozen perfect 300-games. “I usually average between 225 and 230, but averaged 240 today. To me, bowling is about fun. It is the enjoyment of the game, meeting new people and everybody fits in because we love one thing and that’s bowling. We all want to win.

We all want to enjoy it, but at the same time we want everybody to be good.”

The competitors in the tournament bowled three games of qualifying and the top four bowlers in each division bowled step ladder finals. The fourth-seeded bowler took on the third seed and that winner bowled the second seed, and the that winner bowled the top-seed for the title.

To qualify for the event, bowlers need to bowl in two leagues in two different houses (bowling alleys) or two leagues in the same bowling center. They have to compete in at least 2/3 of the league to qualify for the Top-8. Juniors needed only one league to qualify for the annual tournament.

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Irwin wins, Silvestro runner-up in Top-8 bowling tournament

Posted on 17 October 2018 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

The biggest obstacle Deerfield Beach’s Alannah Irwin faced in the Broward County USBC Association Top-8 tournament at AMF Margate Lanes recently was keeping up with the lane changes. Then, the 27-year-old had to unseat defending champion and tournament bowler Rhoda Rodriguez, of Plantation. Irwin managed both and edged Rodriguez, 181-178, to win the Women’s Division of the tournament that featured the best bowlers Broward County had to offer.

I was just having fun and trying to watch how everyone else was playing,” Irwin said. “I was watching where I should and shouldn’t throw the ball in the lane. I had to keep up with the lane changes and see what everyone else was doing.”

It was very difficult,” said Irwin, who qualified for a second time as an adult. She reached the Top-8 seven times as a junior bowler, where she won three times – the last time coming in 2010. “It takes a real technical eye to really see what the lanes are doing and how the oil patterns are transitioning. You also see what adjustments you have to make whether it is changing bowling balls or changing your angle or the speed of the ball.”

Irwin came into the tournament with little expectations because she hadn’t been bowling on a regular basis.

This was kind of my first year back bowling in two different leagues and in two different houses,” Irwin said. “It was nice to get the (qualifying) letter. I came in with no expectations.

I was just bowling in one house, one league a year,” she added, “and was asked to bowl in a second league and said, ‘yes.’ It’s a good comeback. It was nice to win it in my second time as an adult. The last time was in 2013. I didn’t even make the top four that year. I finished like fifth.”

The top eight bowlers from around Broward County competed in the one-day event in six divisions — Junior Boys and Girls, Men’s and Women’s Open, and Senior Men and Women. Bowlers in the tournament began by bowling qualifying matches and ultimately wound up competing in a ladder format where the bowlers worked their way up to challenge the top qualifier who got a bye.

Another local bowler, Jeanne Silvestro, 59, of Pompano Beach, dropped the final of the Women’s Senior Division title match to Pembroke Pines’ Paula Rappaport, 185-156. It was Rappaport’s third win in the Top-8 and first as a senior. Her back-to-back wins in 2009 and 2010 came in the Women’s Open Division.

This was awesome,” said Silvestro, who was bowling in the Top-8 for the first time. She was the top qualifier for the final, but had to sit through two ladder matches before bowling for the championship. “That was hard. It was tiring and I got stiff. Then they bowled three games on the lanes and there was no oil left at all. It was just tough to sit.”

Still she was pleased with making her debut and reaching the final. She has bowled for the past 40 years and is self-taught. She never participated in junior bowling.

To qualify for the event, bowlers need to bowl in two leagues in two different houses (bowling alleys) and they have to compete in at least 2/3 of the league. Those top scoring averages earn them a berth in the annual tournament.

It was unbelievable,” Silvestro said. “I had no idea (how she’d do). I always bowled in one house, so this was the first year I bowled in two houses and when I got the (qualifying) letter in the mail, I was shocked.”

I was happy if I came in eighth,” she continued. “To qualify first was crazy. This was great. I had a great time.”

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“Peter Pan” at The Wick Theatre

Posted on 20 August 2015 by LeslieM

soc082015hookBy Rachel Galvin

The Wick Theatre came to life with the magical classic “Peter Pan,” which opened Aug. 6 and runs through Aug. 23. Catch it this weekend before it flies away!

The musical “Peter Pan” has pirates and “Indians,” dogs and alligators and even that naughty fairy Tinkerbell, who is quite jealous it seems of Wendy (For those who do not know the classic tale, go watch and find out more about these colorful characters. It truly is fun for the whole family.) On August 8, adults were buying pixie dust wands of sorts that were sold in the lobby, turning on their lights during the performance, basically reliving childhood.

The show was filled with great choreography, especially when Tiger Lilly’s tribe hit the stage.

The greatest part of the show was the flying effects, courtesy of ZFX Flying. The scene where the children escape their home to go to Neverland with Peter Pan was absolutely a thrill as projections and harnesses helped them to appear as though they were flying across the skyline .

Shannon Mari Mills had quite the Broadway belt as Peter Pan, but it was Robin Haynes as Hook who really stole the show. His wit had the audience in stitches and he lit up the stage wherever he went. There were interactive moments where they both broke the fourth wall to get the audience engaged in the show.

After the show, guests were surprised when cast members, still in costume, came out to pose with them. As usual, before the show during intermission and after, there was entertainment in the lobby, this time a bit of tinkling of the ivories set a nice mood. Adults enjoyed a flute of champagne to celebrate.

For more information, visit www.thewick.org.


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Griffin wins bowling title

Posted on 06 August 2015 by LeslieM

sports080615By Gary Curreri

Despite bowling a perfect game in qualifying, Pompano Beach’s Zach Griffin said he didn’t bring his “A” game to the Broward County (USBC) Top 8 Tournament at AMF Davie Lanes.

What he did bring was good enough as he captured his second consecutive junior boys championship with a 219-202 victory over Miami’s Cody Stevens in the final.

I have been busy with work and getting ready for school so I haven’t been able to find the time and, when I do have the time, I sleep,” said Griffin, who works at Strikers Family Sportscenter and recently graduated from Cardinal Gibbons High School.

When I am done with my nine-hour shift, I am exhausted and just want to go home,” added Griffin, who admitted he hadn’t practiced in 2-1/2 months.

He is headed to Springhill College in Mobile, AL on a bowling scholarship. “It is probably the last tournament I am going to bowl before college, so my dad (Greg) seeing me shoot 300 and win was nice. He really wanted to see that.”

The Top 8 bowlers in each division each bowled four games with the Top 4, with the highest pin fall after that moving on to a step ladder final with the fourth place bowler taking on the third place bowler, and the winner moving on to bowl against the second seed, and that winner taking on the highest seeded player.

The 300-game was the fifth sanctioned game of Griffin’s career.

That was nice,” said Griffin, whose last sanctioned 300-game was in a winter league four months ago. “It was weird because I had just come off my worst game in qualifying which was a 202. I had trouble finding my line. I just moved in and started fi ring it 18-miles-an-hour at the 10-board and clearly it worked. It was really nice, too, because, the last couple of shots, I didn’t know if they were going to carry, but they did.”

I’m happy with how I did,” Griffin said. “It is a good repeat too. If it happened, it happened. If it didn’t, it didn’t.”

Griffin is looking forward to bowling in college where he will bowl upwards of four times a week.

It’s nice,” he said. “I always wanted to bowl in college when I heard that a couple of my older friends went. It is a really nice atmosphere, was something I was looking for when I was looking at schools.”

Two weeks remain at Simply Soccer

There are two weeks left at the popular Simply Soccer Camp in nearby Coral Springs.

Simply Soccer, which has boys and girls, ages 5-14 of all skill levels, has attracted a record number of children from throughout Broward County for its 27th annual summer camp series at Mullins Park in Coral Springs.

The camp, featured during a live broadcast by CBS4 the day following the United States’ 5-2 victory over Japan in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, is down to its final two weeks of the summer beginning Monday. They are August 10-14 and 17-21.

There are three sessions, ranging from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and a Tiny Tot program from 9 a.m. to noon. Players will be taught a variety of soccer skills from dribbling to shooting.

It is the longest running soccer camp offered by the city.

Campers must bring a soccer ball, swimsuit, shin guards, water bottle and lunch. For information, call 954-345-2200.

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Sucher wins District title in Bowling

Posted on 21 November 2013 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

Pompano Beach High School’s Brandon Sucher rolled three strikes in a row in the 10th frame en route to a final game, 245 to complete a 693 series in the first-ever district bowling championship held in Broward County.

Sucher, a senior, topped Coral Springs Charter School’s Pablo Cerda for the District 15 boys individual bowling title.

Sucher bowled a 235 and 213 in his previous two games, but trailed Cerda by 40 pins entering the final game at the Brunswick Margate Lanes. Cerda, a junior, who won a District title last year and advanced to state where he went 1-2 in match play, rolled a 255- 233-187 to finish with a threegame series of 675.

I bowled well,” said Sucher, who began bowling twohanded prior to the start of the high school season. “I was in a slump, bowling one-handed for like three months and needed a change. I had to make it there. It’s my last year.”

A total of 12 teams and 67 bowlers competed in the District tournament. It marked the first time in the history of the state series, which began in 2003. Coral Springs Charter School swept the boys and girls team titles. The boys defeated Pompano Beach, while the girls downed Coral Glades. Both Baker Games went three games.

Sucher, 18, who lives in Margate, has been bowling for just three years and missed qualifying for state last year by 20 pins.

It wasn’t that disappointing last year because I had a rough start,” Sucher said. “I was looking forward to this year because I had a whole team and that was nice to have. It feels good to be the first district champion. I’ll be able to say I was one of the first ones to make it.”

Sucher went on to finish 59th in the state as he bowled a fourgame series of 794. He had games of 226, 180, 200 and 188. The Tornadoes boys’ team finished 29th with an 885 pin count.

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Highlands bowling team has stellar season

Posted on 21 November 2012 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

Highlands Christian Academy sophomore Andrew Celesti made school history recently as he became the first member from his school to reach the FHSAA state bowling championships.

Celesti rolled a three-game total of 733 (255-198-280) to finish just 17 pins shy of tournament champion Pablo Cerda of Coral Springs Charter at Strikes at Boca recently.

“It was pretty cool,” said Celesti, who went on to place 109th out of 183 bowlers after rolling a four-game total of 697 (202-176-167-152) at the state tournament at Boardwalk Bowl in Orlando. “It was amazing to be going to state. I didn’t really have that thought at the beginning of the year.”

Celesti said he averaged 180 in the league during the year, but put up a career-best, 280 in his final game at district to ensure his team would have a shot at the Baker games. His previous high was a 267.

“We were bowling good in competition and, in the third game, we went all out,” Celesti said. “I kept the mindset to strike out and I did it.”

Celesti’s brother, Chris, a senior, took fifth (205-212- 235-652) and narrowly missed advancing to state with his brother.

Knights’ teammate, Tyler Current, rolled a three-game series of 557, while Jonathan Cunningham totaled 461 for his three-game series. Ethan Peraza bowled a three-game series of 358.

Highlands Christian was a surprising qualifier for the Baker games at the statequalifying District 14 tournament as it made up a 36-pin deficit on Coral Springs Charter in its final game by bowling a 1,022. Coral Springs Charter School was only able to muster an 863 in its final game.

The Knights finished with a three-game total of 2,761, while Coral Springs Charter was fifth with 2,638 pins.

Highlands lost 3-1 to Boca Raton in the opening round of the Baker games, but rallied to top Santaluces, 3-1 in the second round. Boca Raton then swept Highlands in three straight games to advance to the final where it lost to Park Vista, 3-2. Only the Top 2 teams and Top 2 individuals advance to the state tournament.

First-year coach Timothy Celesti, father of both Chris and Andrew, said advancing to the Baker games didn’t surprise him.

“There was some good talent and I knew the boys could do it if they kept their minds clear,” the elder Celesti said. “What I did at districts was that they were loose so I left them alone. It would have been unbelievable to get a berth to states, but the fact that we were even in that position was a huge accomplishment because it is only our second year bowling at Highlands.”

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Events help athletes feel ‘special’

Posted on 27 October 2011 by LeslieM

Deerfield Beach’s James Muir rolls a strike during the recent Area Fall Classic Special Olympics bowling competition at Sawgrass Lanes in Tamarac. Photo by Gary Curreri

By Gary Curreri

Deerfield Beach’s James Muir surveys his shot and lets the bowling ball loose. As it rolls down the alley, he coaxes the shot with his body until the ball strikes the pins and nine fall.

He gives a thumbs-up sign and walks back to retrieve the ball from the return and lets the ball fly again. He knocks down the final pin and gets his spare as his parents, William “Sandy” and Susan, sitting behind him, exchange high fives with their son.

Muir, 21, was one of 900 athletes competing in the Area Fall Classic Special Olympics bowling competition recently at Sawgrass Lanes in Tamarac.

“It’s great,” said Sandy Muir, a longtime high school basketball coach and guidance counselor, whose son has been in the Broward County Special Olympics for more than 10 years. “It is real beneficial for him. This is really our social life.”

James Muir has also been involved in basketball, swimming and golf. However, he likes basketball and bowling the most.

“I look at the pins,” said Muir, who is also a member of the Tamarac Bulldogs, special needs program. “I think about the approach with the ball in the middle and hit the pins straight.”

“This is a lot of fun,” he added. “It is good to bowl. It is important to get a good score and, to do that, you have to be professional. You have to concentrate.”

Muir’s father said his son enjoys the different social activities that the Bulldogs offer.

“He has always been pretty social,” the elder Muir said. “I think all of the activities are good for him. They have dances … arts and crafts, and this has really helped him because he has a whole network of friends.”

Sandy Muir said it is also a great opportunity for the parents to meet people who have the same interest that they do.

“It’s different because he is competitive and he wants to win, but it is not life and death,” said Sandy.

“While he is doing it, he’s competitive; but when’s he’s done, he’s done. He forgets all about it.”

James agreed: “I have made a lot of friends. I like the dances too. I dance with my girlfriend. I am going to keep doing this for 10 years.”

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